PETALING JAYA: There are currently 200,000 unemployed graduates in the country – not including those who have just completed their diplomas, certificate programmes and Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM).
According to the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF), last year alone, some 26,000 people were retrenched and more expected this year.
“Job seekers are not picky and they are more than willing to take up jobs, said MEF executive director Datuk Shamsudin Baradan.
During these hard times, he said people are not choosy about jobs they do as long as they can earn a decent wage.
He pointed out that the formal job sector can only take about 6.5 million workers and at present there are two million foreign workers and with the rehiring programme another two million are expected to register.
“This makes it four million foreigners in the formal job market while under the 11th Malaysia Plan it was supposed to be capped at 15%,” he said.
Shamsudin was responding to reports that that not many Malaysians were willing to work in the dirty, difficult and dangerous (3D) fields.
Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had said that if they were willing to do such jobs then there would be no need to bring in 1.5 million Bangladeshi workers.
“Bringing in more foreigners is not healthy for the labour market as there is already a high proportion of foreigners in the formal job market,” said Shamsudin.
Malaysia Trades Union Congress (MTUC) secretary-general N. Gopal Kishnam said the government needs to carry out a detailed study of the job market before deciding to bring in more foreign workers.
He said local workers are slowly losing out to foreigners because foreigners, legal or illegal are willing to work for lower salaries.
He said 15 years ago there were many Malaysians working in 3D jobs but this has been taken over by foreigners.
He went on to say that at the present standard of living RM900 is not enough for a Malaysian to make a living.
Gopal pointed that there were over 300,000 Malaysians working in 3D jobs in Singapore because they are able to have a decent standard of living.
He said the claim that Malaysians are unwilling to work in 3D jobs is not right, all they need is a decent wage to work in this sector.